The real face of Bishop Noll

Ed Hreha, the man responsible for Bishop Noll’s building direction, several athletic programs, and strongest alumni ties, gets Lifetime Achievement Award

Angela Luna, Staff Reporter

Mr. Ed Hreha, Bishop Noll’s Director of Facilities, has been a part of of the Noll family for 40 years. Hreha began his career as a teacher and coach in 1979, later becoming assistant athletic director. During this time he coached hockey, soccer, and tennis. In 1999, Hreha began his career as Athletic director, until 2012 when he took on his current position. Due to his large contribution to Noll and his recognition and importance to athletics in the area, Hreha was honored by Calumet Region Sportsmanship Committee with a lifetime achievement.

Throughout these years, Hreha began Bishop Noll’s hockey and soccer programs. Hreha set the foundation for the programs as coach and eventually grew the programs through different coaching individuals, who pushed the programs to success. As coach, he led the hockey team in the 1987-1988 school year to the Indiana State High School Hockey Class “A” championship. As Athletic Director, the Warriors were state runner-ups and the boys soccer team brought  its first Regional championship in 1999. Both sports started by Hreha continue to succeed: hockey holding state-runner ups and state championship titles and boys soccer holding three regional titles and a state championship title.

May Velez, Hreha’s former assistant athletic director, describes Hreha’s work as Athletic Director as far beyond anyone’s she’s ever met and states that his love and commitment for Bishop Noll is unmeasurable.

“As Athletic Director, he went above and beyond his administrative position and put his heart and soul into Bishop Noll,” Velez says. She also explained how Hreha would make sure everything for Bishop Noll was accounted for and taken care of and would ensure the building and its facilities were well accommodated and taken care of for every event. Because of all his years at Bishop Noll Hreha knows all the intricacies of the building, along with an understanding of the building’s needs making him the perfect candidate to take on the role as the Building Director

Hreha’s love for sports and Noll is shown through his dedication and hard work. He has consistently demonstrated Bishop Noll’s strengths and promoted all of its athletic programs, while supporting its athletes and bringing in the entire Noll family and community.

Former dance coach Rebecca Dostatni, explains how dance isn’t a part of the IHSAA; however, when the dance team won the state competition Hreha treated it like any other sport. She describes Hreha as Bishop Noll’s number one fan. She explained how it didn’t matter the sport or event, Hreha supported every student, athlete, and sport and he treated each team equally. “He made every team feel the same; he supports and promotes our accomplishments. He wants all of Noll’s accomplishments spread everywhere, that’s the reasons for our beautiful semi state and state banners.”

For 40 years, students walking around the Bishop Noll hallways have always seen Mr. Hreha around the school. But the respected faculty member’s legacy continues outside of the Bishop Noll doors.

On February 27, 2019, Hreha was presented the Carl Traicoff Lifetime Achievement through the Calumet Region Sportsmanship Committee. The Calumet Region Sportsmanship Committee presented the award to Hreha during the 65th annual Sportsmanship Dinner. The award commemorates sportsmanship and honors Hreha’s leadership in youth athletics in the Region for over four decades. As a supportive and encouraging couch, and an outstanding officiate, Hreha demonstrates the true spirit of sportsmanship. “This year’s recipient truly embodies the spirit and intent of this award,” says Marc Zubeck, member of the Calumet Dinner Sportsmanship Committee.

However, Hreha’s legacy, leadership, and support for Bishop Noll lives beyond sports. Hreha is considered an honorary Biology Club member, who develop a connection for the club with the University of Chicago. Through Hreha, the club is able to attend field trips to the university to tour the biology department, labs, study scientific researcher, meet authors, and take biology coding classes.

Hreha also is one of the main faces behind Bishop Noll’s R.I.C.H.E.R Program, a program that allows Bishop Noll students to travel to Bishop Noll’s theatre schools and promote respect, integrity, caring, harmony, excellence, and responsibility. Hreha ensures arrangements are made, materials are gathered, provides transportation, and makes sure Bishop Noll is well represented.

Throughout his Bishop Noll career, people who know Hreha describe him as loyal, hardworking, honest, and know him for his sense of humor. Yet they all concluded that his accomplishments and hard work are for the students. They explain how Hreha wants nothing, but the best for Noll and its students. They phrase Hreha’s words as the following, “You have to do all you can for these kids to have the best high school experience they can have and it’s important because its only four years, so do what you can so they can have the best experience.”